Release date: 2 August 2013
TTWT's debut album proper, Rookie, finds a melodic and instrumental if not lyrical middle ground between Fleet Foxes and Flaming Lips, Bon Iver and Badfinger. Sort of. Ish. It is, as we say, an alt rock album but it's a varied beast. There are baroque pop songs here, jangle-pop ones, songs that make us think of a de-energised power pop, one that sounds like the Lips doing the Beatles, even a glam one: Like a Kid, which recalls nothing so much as Arrows' original version of I Love Rock'N'Roll. The album opens with Whimpering Child, a brooding affair sung by Calder in a voice that rises from a low moan to an acrid falsetto reminiscent of Thom Yorke. He calls what he does, even now, indie-folk but this has the epic scale and potential to rouse of Radiohead. Thereafter, the record veers, as we say, this way and that, although there are consistencies, such as the warm production, and the downbeat atmosphere, emphasised by lines such as, "Stuck inside a hole that you can't ignore". There's a dour intensity to it all, an emotional pitch that is only really altered on Glue, which is such a bright, breezy, brisk burst of sunkissed guitar pop you wonder if it's a parody or a pastiche of indie jauntiness amid all the melancholy introspection. Later, on the bleak acoustica of Lint, Calder cries, "I'm finding it hard to describe, what is this feeling inside?" which you will either consider terribly deep or tragically shallow. On the track Soldiers you can just about make out Calder muttering the word "morose" to himself. Well, he said it. Still, if you're in the mood, you'll love it.
- Paul Lester, The Guardian (2014)